Master of Science in Nursing: Nurse Educator Specialization

Program Description

Nurse educators are a vital resource in preparing a nursing workforce that will provide quality care to meet the health care needs of our population. They practice in academic and clinical settings and must be competent clinicians. Although being a good clinician is essential, it is not necessarily sufficient for the educator role.

The Nurse Educator Specialization program is designed to expand the knowledge base of registered professional nurses to prepare them for the role of the nurse educator in four areas:

  • Higher education

  • Vocational education

  • Staff education

  • Patient education

The program provides theoretical and practical knowledge in the areas of curriculum development, instructional design, advanced teaching methods, and program evaluation.

The curriculum is based on the practice dimensions of the nurse educator role, recommendations of the National League for Nursing (NLN), and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials of Master’s Education.

Graduates of the Nurse Educator Specialization program are eligible to sit for the National League for Nursing Certified Nurse Educator. Graduates are also eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) certification examination in Nursing Professional Development.

This 35-credit-hour program is designed for students who have established an expertise in a clinical area and are now interested in nursing education. The curriculum includes coursework related to experiential teaching methods including high fidelity patient simulation strategies and other emerging technologies to improve education outcomes.

The Nurse Educator Specialization curriculum is designed to meet the learning needs of students who are working full-time. Courses are taught in an online format.

A Post-Graduate Certificate Program in Nursing Education is also available to students who have earned a Master of Science in Nursing degree.

Admission Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from a regionally accredited institution

Grade point average of 2.75 or higher. Applicants may seek conditional admission with a GPA of 2.5 if they have demonstrated substantive growth as a professional nurse.

Unencumbered license to practice as a Registered Nurse in the state in which practicum will occur. GRE scores are not required for admission.

For more information, see

The Master's degree program in nursing at Worcester State University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (


Items Needed to Apply:

  • Online application found at
  • Essay explaining reason for pursuing this degree program
  • Application fee
  • Two professional references
  • Official transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended showing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from a regionally accredited institution with a GPA of 2.75 or higher. Applicants may seek conditional admission with a GPA of 2.5 if they have demonstrated substantive growth as a professional nurse.
  • Official transcript evaluation for any transcript from outside the United States
  • An English language proficiency test if the student’s academic background is not in English
  • Evidence of an unencumbered, unexpired nursing license from one of the following states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or New York

MSN Nurse Education Specialty Track -- Traditional Entry

(For students with a B.S. degree in Nursing)

Admissions Requirements

In addition to Worcester State University Graduate admission criteria, applicants to the Master of Science in Nursing Program must:
● Have achieved a GPA of 2.75 in undergraduate study. Applicants may seek conditional admission with a GPA of 2.5 if they have demonstrated substantive growth as a professional nurse.
● Have a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from an accredited program.
● Hold a current unencumbered license to practice professional nursing in one of the states where practicum is approved, which include MA, RI, CT, ME, NH, NY (contact if you would like to complete practicum in another state)

Required Courses

Professional Core(12 credits)
NU-908Professional Role Development: Philosophical & Curricular Development In Nursing Education3
NU-920Conceptual Foundations of Nursing3
NU-925Research for Evidence-Based Practice3
NU-951Nursing Leadership & Administration3
Interdisciplinary Courses(6 credits)
NU-930Social Policy and the Economics of the Health Care Delivery System3
Specialty Courses in Education(17 credits)
NU-937Advanced Health Assessment3
NU-938Advance Concepts in Physiology and Pathophysiology3
NU-939Advanced Concepts in Pharmacology3
NU-942Practicum in Teaching & Learning I4
NU-943Practicum in Teaching & Learning II4
Total Credits35

Nurse Educator Specialty Courses

NU-908 Professional Role Development: Philosophical & Curricular Development In Nursing Education

This course provides the student with an overview of the role of the nurse educator and the philosophical, theoretical, legal, ethical, and professional foundations of nursing education. Content builds on philosophical traditions and influences, nursing theory, pedagogy and andragogy. These foundations provide the basis for an examination of the development of conceptual frameworks, curricula, and the teaching-learning process.

3 Credits

NU-920 Conceptual Foundations of Nursing

This course concentrates on the philosophical basis of theory development and application. Students are introduced to the levels of theory building, concept formation and the elements of a model while considering the values and goals of nursing actions.

3 Credits

NU-925 Research for Evidence-Based Practice

Prerequisites: NU-946

Students build upon previous learning of research design, methods and process. The critical relationship of research to nursing as a science, as well as its development as a professional dicipline is emphasized.

3 Credits

NU-930 Social Policy and the Economics of the Health Care Delivery System

This course provides the student with the knowledge necessary to comprehend the political, economic and social elements that affect health and health services. The student develops an understanding of the regulatory enviorment and its impact on the delivery of nursing care.

3 Credits

NU-937 Advanced Health Assessment

This course provides the nurse educator student with the theoretical and clinical knowledge required to teach health assessment to students enrolled in basic nursing education programs. Includes principles of health assessment throughout the lifespan with an emphasis on problem-based and student-centered learning.

3 Credits

NU-938 Advance Concepts in Physiology and Pathophysiology

This course is designed to present an orientation to disease as disordered physiology. Course focus is on pathological conditions encountered in clinical practice across the life span. Emphasis is placed on regulatory and compensatory mechanisms as they relate to commonly occurring diseases. The influence of environmental and genetic factors on the development of disease will be examined.

3 Credits

NU-939 Advanced Concepts in Pharmacology

This course focuses on the pharmacologic principals important to nursing practice including: pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacogenomics, and major drug classifications from the perspective of the Nurse Educator. This course will explore strategies for teaching pharmacological concepts to pre-licensure nursing students. Emphasis is placed on the utilization and application of the nursing process in the teaching of pharmacology and safe administration of medications.

3 Credits

NU-942 Practicum in Teaching & Learning I

Prerequisites: Students must be matriculated in the master's of science in nursing education program and have completed NU908, NU937, and NU939. Students matriculated in the post-masters certificate are waived from these prerequisites.

This course examines driving societal forces for technology integration in nursing education, as well as a variety of teaching strategies utilized in today's learning environment. The student is provided with the opportunity to apply knowledge gained through a diverse practicum experience. Students will complete a minimum of 60 hrs. Using theories of education, students will discuss and evaluate the use of teaching and learning strategies, as well as quality improvement and patient safety in clinical practicum settings.

4 Credits

NU-943 Practicum in Teaching & Learning II

LASC Categories: NLL

Prerequisites: NU-908 NU-937 NU-939 NU-942

This course builds upon the practicum experience of NU942 combining both didactic and clinical components. Students will complete a minimum of 65 hrs. The student is provided the opportunity for continued implementation of the components of the educator role under the guidance of a preceptor in an educational setting.

4 Credits

NU-946 Biostatistics

This course links statistical methods to epidem- ology and ultimately, to practice issues in diverse cultural populations and communities. Students draw upon knowledge acquired from the physical science to interpret and summarize statistical data in meaningful ways.

3 Credits

NU-951 Nursing Leadership & Administration

Provides the student with the necessary skills to integrate appropriate business, economic, financial, leadership and management concepts into effective strategies to effect change in nursing education and healthcare organizations.

3 Credits

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Worcester State University graduate program in nursing, graduates are prepared to:

  1. Integrate nursing, related sciences and humanities to analyze, design, implement, and evaluate nursing care across diverse settings at the Master’s Level.
  2. Provide leadership in the delivery and evaluation of strategies for improving delivery of high quality and safe patient care by using ethics, critical decision-making, and effective working relationships from a systems perspective.
  3. Direct continuous quality improvement methods and initiatives to promote a culture of safety, professional accountability, and evidence-based patient care.
  4. Participate, leading when appropriate, in collaborative teams to improve care outcomes and support policy change through translational research and knowledge dissemination by generating meaningful evidence for nursing practice.
  5. Integrate emerging informatics, health care technologies, and related ethical principles into clinical decision-making processes.
  6. Advocate for policies that improve the health of the public and the profession of nursing.
  7. Participate, lead and coordinate when appropriate, inter-professional teams across care environments to reduce barriers, facilitate access, and improve health outcomes.
  8. Synthesize broad ecological, global, biological, and socio-cultural determinants of health to assess the profession’s leadership role and accountability toward improving the population’s health.
  9. Demonstrate Master’s Level Professional Practice through the development of nursing interventions and advocacy to implement safe, quality care to diverse populations in a variety of settings and roles.
  10. Integrate clinical prevention and population health concepts in the development of culturally relevant and linguistically appropriate health education, communication strategies and interventions.